I love the flexibility of tracking macros. Custom macro programming is one of the ways I work with my clients who are just getting started on their healthy eating journey. We’ve all heard of flexible dieting, but what about using macros for flexible maintenance? There’s nothing wrong with having goals, but when you reach the point where you would prefer to be less rigid, it can be difficult (and even confusing) to know where to start. Some people ultimately want to move to a place of intuitive eating, while others just want a process that is a little less strict and time consuming. If you’ve reached a place where you want to think less about all the fine-tuning details of your food intake, but aren’t sure how to transition, there are several things that can help!
1️⃣ Incorporate a few untracked meals per week. Eat meals outside of your own kitchen (at a restaurant or someone else’s home) that are very similar to what you would normally eat, but which you can’t really log because you don’t know exactly what is in them. Just eyeball it. Eat what seems appropriate and pay attention to fullness and satiety cues. The goal here is to not get so nervous around social engagements that involve food which you didn’t prepare.
2️⃣ Aim to hit your protein and over all maintenance calories, but let the rest fall where they may. Experiment with what feels best for you from as far as carbs and fat go. The goal here is to pay attention to your body and find what works best for it.
3️⃣ Don’t eat based on the clock. Allow yourself to get hungry. If you have been tracking for a while, it is common to fall into a habit of never allowing yourself to feel true hunger. The goal here is learning to recognize your body’s cues which will allow you to adjust intake accordingly.
4️⃣ Weigh and measure higher calorie things, but stop obsessing over things that don’t add up quickly. Eyeball lean proteins, non-starchy carbs / veggies, and fruit. Continue to weigh things that add up quickly or when you’re trying to get a recipe just right. The real goal here is just to get comfortable with dipping your toe in the water in the realm of not tracking every morsel.
5️⃣ Remember, nothing is “undoable.” Even if things start to shift in a direction you weren’t expecting. If things like energy or physique really start to regress, you can always revert back to what you were doing before. The goal here is to be willing to try without fear of what might happen.
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